ABSTRACT A model HA-type polymer of para-benzoquinone synthetic humic acid (SHA) and its complexes with copper, iron and manganese metal ions were studied using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Natural humic acids (HA) and synthetic humic acids (SHA) were examined by fluorescence spectroscopy, which indicated similarity of SHA and HA spectra. The AFM images of SHA and its complexes revealed variable morphologies, such as small spheres, aggregates and a sponge-like structure. The SHA complexes displayed morphologies similar to those of natural HA. The presence of copper, iron and manganese ions led to the formation of aggregate-type structures in an apparent arrangement of smaller SHA particles.
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